Monday, January 23, 2012

The chief danger of the Church today...

The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God, give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost! ...A.B. Simpson photo

Faith is also a plea for the everlasting light...

Faith is also a plea for the everlasting light, a thirst for this illumination and transfiguration. This light continues to shine, through the darkness and evil, through the drab grayness and dull routine of this world, like a ray of sun piercing through the clouds. It is recognized by the soul, it comforts the heart, it makes us feel alive, and it transfigures us from within.
...Alexander Schmemann photo

At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness...

"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear,that preach ye upon the housetops."
-Matthew 10:27

At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him. "What I tell you in darkness" - watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don't talk to other people about it; don't read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.

After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation - What a long time I was in hearing that! How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now. ...Oswald Chambers

Prayer is surrender...

Prayer is surrender-surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God. ...Eli E. Stanley Jones photo

Eternal Father Source of all life and light...

Eternal Father
Source of all life and light
Whose love extends to all people,
All creatures, all things:
Grant us that reverence for life
Which becomes those who believe in you;
Lest we despise it, degrade it
Or come callously to destroy it.
Rather let us save it
secure it, and sanctify it,
After the example of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Robert Runcie image

Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory...

“God’s love does not distinguish between the infant in the mother’s womb or the child or the youth or the adult or the older person. In each one God sees His image and likeness. Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory.” ...Pope Benedict XVI

"Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work." ...Archbishop Charles Chaput image by Richard Topalovich

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thou didst call, and cry aloud...

Thou didst call, and cry aloud, and break through my deafness. Thou didst blaze forth, and shine, and scatter my blindness. Thou wert fragrant, and I drew in my breath, and pant for Thee. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace. ...Augustine image

Sunday, January 15, 2012

You will make great progress...

You will make great progress if you keep yourself free from all temporal cares, for to value anything that is temporal is a great mistake. Consider nothing great, nothing high, nothing pleasing, nothing acceptable, except God Himself or that which is of God. Consider the consolations of creatures as vanity, for the soul that loves God scorns all things that are inferior to Him. God alone, the eternal and infinite, satisfies all, bringing comfort to the soul and true joy to the body. The Imitation of Christ image by Michael Himbeault

You can also offer your prayers...

You can also offer your prayers, obedience, and endurance of dryness to Our Lord, for the good of other souls, and then you have practiced intercession. Never mind if it all seems for the time very second-hand. The less you get out of it, the nearer it approaches to being something worth offering; and the humiliation of not being able to feel as devout as we want to be, is excellent for most of us. Use vocal prayer... very slowly, trying to realize the meaning with which it is charged and remember that... you are only a unit in the Chorus of the Church, so that the others will make good the shortcomings you cannot help. ...Evelyn Underhill image

There is mercy in God like a river...

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There is mercy in God like a river, but it is for the penitent believer in Christ Jesus. There is a love in God towards sinners which is unspeakable and unsearchable, but it is for those who hear Christ’s voice and follow him.

Seek to have an interest in that love. Break off every known sin, come out boldly from the world, cry mightily to God in prayer, cast yourself wholly and unreservedly on the Lord Jesus for time and eternity, lay aside every weight. Cling to nothing however dear, which interferes with your soul’s salvation, give-up everything, however precious, which comes between you and heaven.

This old shipwrecked world is fast sinking beneath your feet, the one thing needful is to have a place in the lifeboat and get safe to shore. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure. Whatever happens to your house and property, see that you make sure of heaven.

Oh, better a million times be laughed at and thought extreme in this world, than go down to hell from the midst of the congregation. ...
JC Ryle image

Christian community...

Christian community is not an ideal that we must realize, but rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate. The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our community is in Jesus Christ alone, the more calmly shall we think of our community and pray and hope for it. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 image by James Thompson

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Be free, simple, a child....

Be free,... simple, a child. But be a sturdy child, who fears nothing, who speaks out frankly, who lets himself be led, who is carried in the arms; in a word, one who knows nothing, can do nothing, can anticipate and change nothing, but who has a freedom and a strength forbidden to the great. This childhood baffles the wise, and God Himself speaks by the mouth of such children. ...Francois Fenelon image by Nisha A.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Our greatest failures as a nation...

Our greatest failures as a nation have come when we lost sight of our compassionate ideals -- in slavery, in segregation, and in every wrong that has denied the value and dignity of life …America needs your good heart in meeting a basic responsibility: to protect and honor life in all its seasons. A compassionate society shows a special concern for those at the beginning of life, those at the end of life, and those who struggle in life with disabilities… Our worth as human beings does not depend on our health, or productivity, or independence, or any other shifting value the world might apply. Our worth comes from bearing the image of our Maker. ...President George W. Bush, 2004 image by Ruthanne Reid

A loving Personality dominates the Bible...

A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working, and manifesting himself whenever and wherever his people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation. ... A. W. Tozer image by Kasia

No worst thing ever done in the name of Christianity...

No worst thing ever done in the name of Christianity, no vilest corruption of the Church, can destroy the eternal fact that the core of it is the heart of Jesus. Branches innumerable may have to be lopped off and cast into the fire, yet the word “I am the Vine” remaineth. ...George MacDonald image

Saturday, January 7, 2012

There are times when you cannot understand...

"Peter said unto Him, Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now?"
 John 13:37

There are times when you cannot understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait. The blank space may come in order to teach you what sanctification means, or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means. Never run before God's guidance. If there is the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt - don't.

In the beginning you may see clearly what God's will is - the severance of a friendship, the breaking off of a business relationship, something you feel distinctly before God is His will for you to do, never do it on the impulse of that feeling. If you do, you will end in making difficulties that will take years of time to put right. Wait for God's time to bring it round and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment. When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move.

Peter did not wait on God, he forecast in his mind where the test would come, and the test came where he did not expect it. "I will lay down my life for Thy sake." Peter's declaration was honest but ignorant. "Jesus answered him ...The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice." This was said with a deeper knowledge of Peter than Peter had of himself. He could not follow Jesus because he did not know himself, of what he was capable. Natural devotion may be all very well to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His fascination, but it will never make us disciples. Natural devotion will always deny Jesus somewhere or other. ...Oswald Chambers
 image by Steve Day

My God, I love Thee...

My God, I love Thee --
not because I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not must die eternally.
Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me upon the Cross embrace;
For me didst nails and spear endure, and manifold disgrace.
Why, then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heaven, or of escaping hell--
Not with the hope of gaining aught, nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast loved me, O ever-loving Lord!
E'en then I love Thee and will love, and in Thy praise will sing
Solely because Thou art my God and my eternal King.
... Anonymous Latin Hymn, attrib. Francis Xavier

Our wickedness shall not overpower...

Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence.
...John of Kronstadt photo

Tune Thou my harp...

Tune Thou my harp;
There is not, Lord, could never be,
The skill in me.

Tune Thou my harp,
That it may play Thy melody,
Thy harmony.

Tune Thou my harp;
O Spirit, breathe Thy thought through me
As pleaseth Thee.
...Amy Carmichael
 image by Ella Mullins

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thou whose almighty Word...

Thou whose almighty Word
Chaos and darkness heard,
And took their flight,
Hear us, we humbly pray;
And where the gospel's day
Sheds not its glorious ray,
Let there be light.
Thou, who didst come to bring
On Thy redeeming wing
Healing and sight--
Health to the sick in mind,
Sight to the inly blind--
Oh, now to all mankind,
Let there be light.
John Marriott

Arise, shine, for your light has come...

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult,
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.
Isaiah 60:1-6

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A true and faithful Christian...

A true and faithful Christian does not make holy living an accidental thing. It is his great concern. As the business of the soldier is to fight, so the business of the Christian is to be like Christ. ...Jonathan Edwards image

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Children, draw near to your Father,,,

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Children, draw near to your Father, and he will embrace you in the arms of love. Come, ye poor, stray, wandering sheep, return to your Shepherd. Come, ye who have been seeking happiness in worldly pleasures and pursuits, but have failed to find in them that satisfaction ye expected: come, and learn how to be truly happy here, and eternally happy hereafter. – Come, sinners, to your Saviour. Come, ye dull, ignorant, and illiterate; ye who think yourselves the most incapable of prayer: ye are more peculiarly called and adapted thereto. Let all, without exception, come; for Christ hath called all. ...Madame Guyon image

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Beloved, I say, let your fears go...

Beloved, I say, let your fears go, lest they make you fainthearted. Stop inspiring fear in those around you and now take your stand in faith. God has been good and He will continue to manifest His goodness...Let us approach these days expecting to see the goodness of the Lord manifest. Let us be strong and of good courage, for the Lord will fight for us if we stand in faith. ...Francis Frangipane image by Lars Kasper

When once we get intimate with Jesus...

When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all the time without being pathetic. The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Jesus. The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that Our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.  ...Oswald Chambers image by Rennett Stowe

In a Christian community...

In a Christian community, everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. A community which allows unemployed members to exist within it will perish because of them. It will be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community, that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable. Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the fellowship. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image by Horia Varlan

God is our true Friend...

God is our true Friend, who always gives us the counsel and comfort we need. Our danger lies in resisting Him; so it is essential that we acquire the habit of hearkening to His voice, or keeping silence within, and listening so as to lose nothing of what He says to us. We know well enough how to keep outward silence, and to hush our spoken words, but we know little of interior silence. It consists in hushing our idle, restless, wandering imagination, in quieting the promptings of our worldly minds, and in suppressing the crowd of unprofitable thoughts which excite and disturb the soul.
...François Fénelon photo

Rest on a Promise...

  The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it. 
-Genesis 28:13

No promise is of private interpretation: it belongs not to one saint but to all believers. If, my brother, thou canst in faith lie down upon a promise and take thy rest thereon, it is thine. Where Jacob "lighted" and tarried and rested, there he took possession. Stretching his weary length upon the ground, with the stones of that place for his pillows, he little fancied that he was thus entering into ownership of the land; yet so it was. He saw in his dream that wondrous ladder which for all true believers unites earth and heaven, and surely where the foot of the ladder stood he must have a right to the soil, for other wise he could not reach the divine stair-way. All the promises of God are "Yea" and "Amen" in Christ Jesus, and as He is ours, every promise is ours if we will but lie down upon it in restful faith.

Come, weary one, use thy Lord's words as thy pillows, Lie down in peace. Dream only of Him. Jesus is thy ladder of light. See the angels coming and going upon Him between thy soul and thy God, and be sure that the promise is thine own God-given portion and that it will not be robbery for thee to take it to thyself, as spoken specially to thee. ...CH Spurgeon 

I prayed for faith...

I prayed for faith, and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, "Now faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". I had closed my Bible, and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since. ...Dwight L Moody photo

The Christian is more than an empty vessel...

The Christian is more than an empty vessel. He has...Someone within. We have a treasure in the earthen vessel, and not only a treasure - a transcendent power! That is humanity as God intended it to be. The vessel is not much in itself, but it holds an inestimable treasure, beyond price, and a transcendent power, greater than any other power known to men. ...Ray C. Stedman image by Manish Bansal

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;

Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;

Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;

Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;

Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes
need you most, and by making you anxious
to be there to help.

God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.
...Author Unknown image by Bob Jagendorf