Friday, December 30, 2011

Unutterable Trust

Faith is unutterable trust in God, trust which never dreams that He will not stand by us.
      -- Oswald Chambers

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Leaving the Carpentry Shop

[Jesus] left because of you. He laid his security down with his hammer. ... Since he could bear your sins more easily than he could bear the thought of your hopelessness, he chose to leave. It wasn't easy. Leaving the carpentry shop never has been.
      -- Max Lucado

Friday, December 23, 2011


The historical facts around Christ's life are both outward and clear. Certainly the theological truths that define Jesus are sure. Yet the realities of faith are always a matter of the heart. The fullness of his great love defies definition, and yet the open glory of his salvation spills over the edges of our most private selves.
      -- Calvin Miller

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The ultimate proof of total forgiveness takes place when we sincerely petition the Father to let those who have hurt us off the hook -- even if they have hurt not only us, but also those close to us.
-- R. T. Kendall


Why is purity such a struggle? Why is it so difficult to order our lives in a way that allows Christ to shine through us? ... We destroy purity by equating it with legalism and forgetting that it is first and foremost a work of the heart. Reducing it to a set of rules trivializes the purpose of purity and creates a veneer of purity without the genuine, underlying character.
-- David Edwards


God's touch in our lives is kind ... Romans 2:4 says that it's God's KINDNESS -- not his power or justice -- that leads us to repentance. ... And because of this kindness, we want to be closer to him.
      -- Amy Nappa

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Real encouragement occurs when words are spoken from a heart of love to another's recognized fear.
      -- Larry Crabb

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



When purity is reduced to legalism, our hearts are no longer free; they are focused more on maintaining rituals and customs than on living out a genuine character change.
      -- David Edwards

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cheer Up!

On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,
“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid!
For the LORD your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
--Zephaniah 3:16-17

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Future

The ministry of the Spirit of God strengthens us, too, for the task that He knows lies ahead of us. We cannot survive or complete this task using our own abilities. Like Peter and the apostles, we need God's empowerment. We may not know what lies ahead, but we do know that God is preparing us for the future He has prepared for us.
-- David Edwards

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Be faithful in the little practices of love which will build in you the life of holiness and make you Christlike.
      -- Mother Teresa

Waiting with Patience

How do we wait for God? We wait with patience. But patience does not mean passivity. Waiting patiently is not like waiting for the bus to come, the rain to stop, or the sun to rise. It is an active waiting in which we live the present moment to the full in order to find there the signs of the One we are waiting for.

The word patience comes from the Latin verb patior which means "to suffer." Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full, and letting the seeds that are sown in the ground on which we stand grow into strong plants. Waiting patiently always means paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes and seeing there the first rays of God's glorious coming.
--Henri Nouwen

Waiting for Christ to Come

If we do not wait patiently in expectation for God's coming in glory, we start wandering around, going from one little sensation to another. Our lives get stuffed with newspaper items, television stories, and gossip. Then our minds lose the disciline of discerning between what leads us closer to God and what doesn't, and our hearts gradually lose their spiritual sensitivity.

Without waiting for the second coming of Christ, we will stagnate quickly and become tempted to indulge in whatever gives us a moment of pleasure. When Paul asks us to wake from sleep, he says: "Let us live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be fulfilled" (Romans 13:13-14). When we have the Lord to look forward to, we can already experience him in the waiting. 
--Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taking the Edge Off

Those of us who are most familiar with the Spirit's promises are in the greatest danger. ... familiarity may not breed contempt, but it takes the edge off awe ... promises that drop the jaws or widen the eyes of newcomers but provoke no more than a raised eyebrow in the old-timers who have ceased to dream.
-- Jim McGuiggan

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Hidden Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus was a hidden event. Jesus didn't rise from the grave to baffle his opponents, to make a victory statement, or to prove to those who crucified him that he was right after all. Jesus rose as a sign to those who had loved him and followed him that God's divine love is stronger than death. To the women and men who had committed themselves to him, he revealed that his mission had been fulfilled. To those who shared in his ministry, he gave the sacred task to call all people into the new life with him.

The world didn't take notice. Only those whom he called by name, with whom he broke bread, and to whom he spoke words of peace were aware of what happened. Still, it was this hidden event that freed humanity from the shackles of death.

--Henri Nouwen


Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.
-- Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grateful Heart

Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!
      -- George Herbert

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Spirit

For the Christian, nothing less than the presence of the Spirit is enough to explain the marvelous changes worked in human lives. Call it grace; call it providence; call it the result of Bible study ... just so we understand that in and behind any or all the instruments is the presence and work of the Spirit who seeks and finds and transforms.
      -- Jim McGuiggan

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Best Efforts

Make the most of the present moment. No occasion is unworthy of our best efforts. God often uses the humble occasions and little things to shape the course of a man's life.
-- James Garfield

Friday, November 18, 2011


In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.
      -- C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Understanding is knowing what to do; wisdom is knowing what todo next; virtue is actually doing it.
      -- Tristan Gulberd

Friday, November 11, 2011

Longing to Believe

I have been tortured with longing to believe ... and the yearning grows stronger the more cogent the intellectual
difficulties stand in the way.
-- Fyodor Dostoevsky


What you do when you don't have to, determines what you will be when you can no longer help it.

-- Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Believe to Understand

Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.  -- St. Augustine of Hippo

Wow. I was always taught to understand first. I keep finding quotes that make me think I've got this thing all backwards.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


A passion to obey Christ is born out of our relationship with him. The more we love him, the more we want him to be a part of our affairs.  -- Calvin Miller

Friday, November 4, 2011

Much Prayer

Where there is much prayer, there will be much of the Spirit; where there is much of the Spirit, there will be ever-increasing prayer.
-- Andrew Murray

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How To Treat People

John Cowart November 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

Jesus never tells me what somebody else ought to do. He never said how somebody else ought to treat me; only how I should treat them.


The world does not need more Christian writers -- it needs more good writers and composers who are Christians.
      -- C. S. Lewis

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Night's Work

For you who wonder if you've played too long to change, take courage from Jacob's legacy. No man is too bad for God. To transform a riverboat gambler into a man of faith would be no easy task. But for God, it was all in a night's work.
-- Max Lucado

Thursday, October 27, 2011


[King] David certainly was aware that his lust for power had become a barrier to inwardness. Careers, even religious careers, may become little more than forums for our own advancement. But how are we to deal with such ambition? Our longing after Christ must exceed our need for status in the world.

-- Calvin Miller

Struggling With Prayer

Why do so many people have struggles when it comes to prayer? ... Men and women were originally created to desire communion with God. But the effects of sin have dulled most of that original human desire. Sin turned a natural activity into an unnatural function.

-- Gordon McDonald


Does God indeed need to rest? Of course not! But did God choose to rest? Yes. Why? Because God subjected creation to a rhythm of rest and work that He revealed by observing the rhythm Himself, as a precedent for everyone else. In this way, He showed us a key to order in our private worlds.

-- Gordon McDonald

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia

"...and I thought of that old gentleman, who is dead now, but was a bishop, I think, who declared that it was impossible for any woman, past, present, or to come, to have the genius of Shakespeare. He wrote to the papers about it. He also told a lady who applied to him for information that cats do not as a matter of fact go to heaven, though they have, he added, souls of a sort. How much thinking those old gentlemen used to save one! How the borders of ignorance shrank back at their approach! Cats do not go to heaven. Women cannot write the plays of Shakespeare."

Chapter 3, A room of one's own, by Virginia Woolf

This quote is about as much as I've read of Virginia Woolf, but it cracks me up. I imagine her saying it in a way that would have made ladies laugh behind their hands. I imagine her saying it in a way that the insult would have flown right over the heads of any men present.


Jeremiah 1:17
New International Version (NIV)
“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them."

I so do not want to be irreverent, but... doesn't this sound like the original "don't cry or I will give you something to cry about?". Or is it just me?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Loving Christ

It is possible to be so active in the service of Christ as to forget to love him. -- P.T Forsyth

This is a good warning for those of us who always need to be doing something. We need to remember to sit in awe and wonder of His complete Holiness. We need to love Him as we love no other. 


Friday, October 14, 2011


He said: that it was a Great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times; that we are as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action, as by prayer in its season.
-- Brother Lawrence


We humans are a hungry lot. We are driven by a craving to know who we are. Yet who we are is embedded in the heart of a holy God. Unless we seek for ourselves in the epicenter of God's grace, we will be forever condemned to walk the arid edges of self-understanding. -- Calvin Miller

As an adoptee, I have spent more time than most people wondering about who I am. But who I am in God is all that really matters.



To be forged upon the anvil of God's purpose, to be at once His hammer, His tongs, and His molten iron; to hear words that rend the heart, see visions that pierce the chest; to be emptied like an urn, again and again and again until one desires only rest, only an end to the refilling -- and to know one cannnot live without the refilling. To be given words that one dare not speak, and to feel those words churning and boiling in the belly until one must speak them aloud, or die. To be despised, soon or late, by everyone except Adonai -- and to desire it so, while hating it. This is to be a prophet. -- Thom Lemmons

Only Hope (Not Obi-wan)

[Jesus said] 'I am the resurrection and the life ... Do you believe this?' This is a canyon question which makes sense only during an all-night vigil or in the stillness of smoke-filled waiting rooms. A question that makes sense when all of our props, crutches, and costumes are taken away. For then we must face ourselves as we really are: rudderless humans tailspinning toward disaster. And we are forced to see him for what he claims to be: our only hope. -- Max Lucado


There is not a hint of one person who was afraid to draw near him [Jesus]. There were those who mocked him. There were those who were envious of him. There were those who misunderstood him. There were those who revered him. But there was not one person who considered him too holy, too divine, or too celestial to touch. There was not one person who was reluctant to approach him for fear of being rejected. 
-- Max Lucado

Driven or Not?

[John the Baptist said] 'He must increase, but I must decrease.' .. No driven person could ever say what John said, because driven people have to keep gaining more and more attention, more and more power, more and more material assets. The seductions of the public life would have led to a competitive posture, but the original call to commitment from within spoke louder. -- Gordon McDonald


It is not the uniqueness of 'Christianity' as a system that we defend, but the uniqueness of Christ. ... So, because in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in his birth), then bear our sins (in his death), then conquer death (in his resurrection) and then enter his people (by his Spirit), he is uniquely able to save sinners. Nobody else has his qualifications. -- John R. W. Stott


The truth is, living in agreement with God will bring His conviction when we are disobedient. Conviction may feel like a negative thing, but it's just as much a part of God as His smile. He is committed to making our lives work in Him, and He will use the strength and power of His conviction to let us know when we are outside His will. It may feel bad, but conviction is God at work in us.
-- David Edwards


Many Bible passages (such as Luke 13:3 or Acts 2:38) issue a call for repentance. Repentance? The very thought stops our hearts with chilling honesty, for it insists that we come clean before we set out to execute life's important choices. Repentance demands that we choose a path of holy living. -- Calvin Miller

Sincere Prayer

“Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”
― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Catch Up

We either add to the darkness of indifference ... or we light a candle to see by. -- Madeleine L'Engle

So many of my writing friends have read Madeleine L'Engle. Yet, until recently, I had never heard of her. My church upbringing seems the likely culprit - she would have been an "outsider". Of course, it might just be that we were simple folk who hadn't heard of many people, places, and things. Either way, it seems that I am going to have to catch up.