Monday, December 31, 2012

What Is Your Plan?

"The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, learn about them,or even seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them." ~ Denis Waitley (from the book Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure)

Sinners Aren't Happy

‎"They make sinners look happy on TV, but don't believe the lies. Sin is perverse, destructive, and miserable." ~ Prof. Jim Hamilton (Southern Seminary, Louisville)

We Need Jesus

"Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ; We do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ." ~ Blaise Pascal

Sunday, December 30, 2012

God's Call

‎"At times, the call of God on our lives may require us to relinquish things or people we can’t imagine living without." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Prepare for Celebration

"As we prepare for our traditional celebrations, let us remember those who will not be looking forward to this festival. Let us remember too how Jesus identified with the oppressed and the homeless. Let the joy of the festival touch more of the people of our world this year than ever before. May God be glorified and may people of good will once again experience His peace." ~ Denzil John

Serve

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” ~ Mark 10:45 (ESV)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kind Words

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Mother Teresa

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christian Holiness

‎"Christian holiness is not a matter of painstaking conformity to the individual precepts of an external law code; it is rather a question of the Holy Spirit's producing His fruit in the life, reproducing those graces which were seen in perfection in the life of Christ." ~ F.F. Bruce

Need the Power...

‎"The world will never believe in a religion in which there is no power. A rationalized faith, a socialized church, & a moralized gospel may gain applause, but they awaken no conviction & win no converts." ~ Samuel Chadwick

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Undergirded by Love

"If truth isn't undergirded by love, it makes the possessor of that truth obnoxious & the truth repulsive." ~ Ravi Zacharias

Currency of Heaven

"Desperate hunger is the currency of heaven. Hunger is what causes us to empty ourselves of compromise and creates a holy dissatisfaction that drives us to our knees and makes us depend on God. We cannot be hungry for God if we are being satisfied with other things." ~ Rhonda Hughey (Desperate for His Presence)

Pray...

"Lord, I am yours; I do yield myself up entirely to you, and I believe that you accept me. I leave myself with you. Work in me all the good pleasure of your will, and I will only lie still in your hands and trust you." ~ Hannah Whitall Smith

In Process

"We are God's creative works in process. God alone knows what we shall become. What might God have in store in the fullness of our time? In the beginning, God created Light. In Mary, God became flesh. What will God become in us? Is there room in us for God's seed to take root and grow? God has visited us with grace and favor. Are we ready to become Light?" ~ Thomas Hoffman (A Child in Winter)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

True Greatness is...

"True greatness, true leadership is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you. True service is never without cost. Often it comes with a painful baptism of suffering. But the true spiritual leader is focused on the service he and she can render." ~ J. Oswald Sanders

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Prayer...

Dear Master, in whose life I see
All that I would, but fail to be,
Let Thy clear light forever shine,
To shame and guide this life of mine.

Though what I dream and what I do
In my weak days are always two
Help me, oppressed by things undone,
O Thou, whose deeds and dreams were one.

~ John Hunter

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Prayer

"Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace."

~ Frank Borman, Apollo 8 space mission, 1968

Love and Forgive

‎"It is not on our forgiveness any more than our goodness that that the world's healing hinges, but His. When he tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself." ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Don't Be a Victim

‎"When we realize that His grace is sufficient for every situation, that by the power of His indwelling Spirit, we have the ability to respond with grace and forgiveness to those who have sinned against us—at that point we are no longer victims." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Entire Sanctification

‎"Entire sanctification is not achieved; it is received. It is not attained; it is obtained. It is not by striving; it is by yielding. It is not by trying, but by trusting. God does it. We are not made holy by our faulty wisdom and puny efforts, but by the sanctifying energies of the Spirit of God." ~ W.E. McCumber

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Listen to Truth

‎"Listening to counsel or ways of thinking that are not according to the Truth is the first step in developing wrong beliefs that will ultimately place us in bondage." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Friday, December 21, 2012

Stressed?

"Feeling stressed? You can’t ignore your responsibilities. But you can ask God for direction, clear thinking, and strength for today." ~ C. Jean

No Shortcuts

‎"Give up the struggle and the fight; relax in the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus; look up into His lovely face and as you behold Him, He will transform you into His likeness. You do the beholding--He does the transforming. There is no short-cut to holiness." ~ Alan Redpath

Money In Your Hands?

"Just because God puts His money in our hands doesn’t mean He intends for it to stay there!" ~ Randy Alcorn (The Treasure Principle)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Be a Listening Ear

"Give me the listening ear.

I seek this day the ear that will not shrink from the word that corrects and admonishes

the word that holds up before me the image of myself

that causes me to pause and reconsider

the word that challenges me to deeper consecration and higher resolve

the word that lays bare needs that make my own days uneasy,

that seizes upon every good decent impulse of my nature,

channeling it into paths of healing in the lives of others."

~ Howard Thurman

In Our Pain

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." ~ C. S. Lewis

Powerful Enough

‎"The only one powerful enough to be born of a virgin is God Himself. The Savior we celebrate isn’t just a baby; He’s divine. He’s the only one powerful enough to save us from sin by His own blood." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Contentment

“The lifeblood of contentment is not what we have but who we know. If you have an authentic friendship with Jesus, you can be content, because you have everything that matters most in the universe.” Kevin Harney

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Show and Tell

As Christians, we do more than just tell about God’s Truth. Instead, like school children, for us it is “Show and Tell.” By our words and by our deeds, through what we say and what we do, we reveal Christ to the world. ~ M. Bruce

The Answer

"Jesus was the heavenly answer to the human problem." ~ Porter

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Restoration of God's Presence

‎"The restoration of God's presence among His people is the cure for our complacency, boredom, double-mindedness, shallow methodologies, and superficial relationships." ~ Rhonda Hughey

Deceived...

"Those who’ve succumbed to sexual temptation did not do so to pursue their self-interest. Rather, they pursued what they imagined was their self-interest, what Satan deceived them into thinking was their self-interest. Had they pursued their true self-interest they would have run from temptation as from a live grenade." ~ Randy Alcorn (The Purity Principle)

“Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18).

Do You Hear Him Calling?

‎"I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!"
~ Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

Risks of Being Human

"Upon the discovery of our precariousness and insecure contingency, we seek to ground ourselves, to finish and fill ourselves, by running away from the fragility of our personhood.... If we consume, collect, or produce enough, we seem to think we could eliminate the risks of being human, of trust, of intimacy. But we find instead the emptiness of a closed, monadic world that turns upon itself in violence. Finally, we seek escape, refusing to commit ourselves, in the face of our own frightening unfinishedness. At times, slavery seems less terrible, and certainly more safe, than freedom." ~ John Francis Kavanaugh (Following Christ in a Consumer Society)

Discover the Joy

‎"The truth is it's only when we deny ourselves that we truly discover the joy of following Christ." ~ Kyle Idleman (Not a Fan)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Critical Acts

"Three pastoral acts are so basic, so critical, that they determine the shape of everything else. The acts are praying, reading scripture, and giving spiritual direction." ~ Eugene Peterson

Who's to Blame?

"We want to hold something or somebody else responsible for our misery, but unless we choose to be responsible, we'll never grow up. There's a story I heard about a construction worker. At lunchtime one day on the job, the worker opened his lunch box and said, "Oh, no, chicken salad again!" The next day he had chicken salad, and he reacted the same way. The same thing happened on the next day after that, and the next. Finally, a co-worker who heard these repeated complaints said, "If you can't stand the chicken salad, why don't you get your wife to make you something else for lunch?" The man replied, "Oh, I'm not married. I make these lunches myself."

There's truth in that story. We play the victim. We live as if we're buffeted and bruised by this arbitrary world.... We look outside ourselves for the source of our unhappiness, but we're looking in the wrong place. The source is always within us."

~ Terence Grant (Source: The Silence of Unknowing)

How Is Your Heart?

‎"Jesus continually came back to the issue of the heart . . . if their hearts weren’t right, they weren’t right." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. ~ Matthew 15:8 (NIV 1984)

Giving Is...

“Giving is fundamental to God’s nature, and grace is at the core of true giving. God’s gracious gift gives context and meaning to our impulse to give and helps explain the joy that comes from the act of giving. God’s gracious gift of breath and eternal life on our behalf, and our response to it, is the key to unlocking the unique character of giving in the kingdom.” ~ R. Mark Dillon (Giving & Getting in the Kingdom, 2012, p.25)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

To Keep You Safe

"Boundaries aren't restrictive fences meant to keep us from enjoying life, but gifts from a God who cares about our well-being." ~ Lysa TerKeurst

Remember the Oppressed

"As we prepare for our traditional celebrations, let us remember those who will not be looking forward to this festival. Let us remember too how Jesus identified with the oppressed and the homeless. Let the joy of the festival touch more of the people of our world this year than ever before. May God be glorified and may people of good will once again experience His peace." ~
Denzil John

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Heal Through Telling Your Story

"Healing means, first of all, the creation of an empty space where those who suffer can tell their story to someone." ~ Henri Nouwen

The Lesser Good

When can good become the lesser good?

“When we serve the Lord for what He gives us rather than whom He is.” If you serve the Lord for what you can get, you will serve the devil if he will give you more. I don’t want to be a fickle, fair-weather follower." ~ Bill Scheidler

Get to know His character!

Prayer of Thomas a Kempis

"Lord, look upon me.
Your gaze can turn my nothingness into newness,
my darkness into light,
my misery into joy,
my death into life.
When I become nothing,
I discover both myself and you.
When I admit I deserve only punishment,
you shower me with blessings.
You are my salvation, my power, my strength."

~ Thomas รก Kempis

Fire of Advent

"Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time." ~ Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 187

Friday, December 14, 2012

...like Breathing...

"My stewardship is like breathing. I confidently inhale the blessings of God and exhale them in praise and acts of giving!” ~ Stan Toler

Where is Your Focus?

"The pressures of life and the assaults of the fallen world constantly blur our focus and tend to shift us away from our center in God. Worship is the means by which we recover our focus and return to our center." ~ Robert Mulholland

Standard of Giving

"God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving." ~ Randy Alcorn

Are You Gasping for Air or Breathing Freely?

“In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath—these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely.” ~ Dr. E. Stanley Jones

Remember...

"We need to remember that [Jesus Christ] came to be one with the poor, to share in their lives, and to empower them to be a part of God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven." ~ Bruce Patalano,

Memory Awakens Hope

"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."

~ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

By the Grace of God

"Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger (people). Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Every day you will wonder at yourself and at the richness of life that has come to you by the grace of God." ~ Phillips Brooks

Take Time to Be Aware..

"Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.

"An old abbot was fond of saying, ‘The devil is always the most active on the highest feast days.’

"The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all."

~ Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 196



Old-fashioned, Spiritual Christmas?. . . . . . . . .

"What has happened to the old-fashioned, spiritual Christmas? The cause is our disregard of Advent. The church set aside this four-week pre-Christmas season as a time of spiritual preparation for Christ’s coming. It is a time of quiet anticipation. If Christ is going to come again into our hearts, there must be repentance. Without repentance, our hearts will be so full of worldly things that there will be ‘no room in the inn’ for Christ to be born again.…We have the joy not of celebration. Which is the joy of Christmas, but the joy of anticipation." ~ John R. Brokhoff

Cultivate Both Fruit and Character

"Your gifts can not be cultivated apart from producing fruit or character in your life. We need both gifts and character to carry the glory of the Lord in our community and our families. This is how we partner with God to see His glory poured out on the earth." ~ Danny Lee Silk

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How People Feel

‎"It's not how people feel about you, it's how you make them feel about themselves when they are around you that counts." ~ Mike Hayes

What Does Joy Depend On?

‎"Joy does not depend on feeling. We are not to rejoice because we feel joyful, rather we can expect to eventually feel joyful as a result of our rejoicing." ~ Merlin Carothers

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Be Shaped in Wholeness by Jesus

"Everyone is in the process of spiritual formation! We are being shaped into either the wholeness of the image of Christ or a horribly destructive caricature of that image—destructive not only to ourselves but also to others, for we inflict our brokenness upon them." ~ Robert Mulholland

No Magic Formula's But...

‎"We are not saying this is a magic formula. But negative actions rarely produce positive results. If you are seeking a positive change in your marriage, you will need to make a positive change in your attitude and actions."

~ Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, in "Respectfully Yours: The Secret to Power and Influence in Your Marriage"

Act in Love

"Do not waste time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you begin behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less." ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, December 10, 2012

Light a Fire

“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.” ~ John Wesley

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Don't Think So Highly of Yourself

"None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves." ~ Spurgeon

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. ~ Romans 12:3 (NIV 1984)

Naturally Designed

‎"The woman is uniquely designed and equipped—physiologically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually—by her Creator to be a bearer and nurturer of life." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Son...May this be true for you...

‎"Let us strive, every year we live, to become more deeply acquainted with Scripture." ~ J.C. Ryle

God's' Money Manager

"As God’s child and his money manager, what personal, spiritual, moral, and financial changes do you need to make to get ready to give him a face-to-face account of your job performance?" ~ Randy Alcorn (Managing God’s Money)

“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” ~ Romans 14:12

Friday, December 7, 2012

Generosity...

"Generosity is not measured against what someone else gives. It is rooted in our understanding of God's ownership of all that we have and our willingness to let go and let God use our resources as He sees fit." ~ Tom Felder (The Tithing Principle: Understanding Why We Give)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Learning Patience...

‎'What better way to learn patience than to have children around who are typically so impatient? What better way to teach an impatient child patience than for her to see Mom or Dad become increasingly patient in their day to day interactions?" ~ Jay Morgan

Promises...

"Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss, he promises life, and pays with death. But God pays as he promises; all his payments are made in pure gold." ~ Thomas Brooks

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Are You Advertising?

"Our world does not need to hear more people talk about God or even about Jesus if those people do not have a lifestyle that reinforces every word they utter. The interesting thing is that the closer we walk in intimacy with God, the less we have to say. Our very lives become a bold and beautiful testimony to the purity, the freedom, and the beauty of the Lord Jesus." ~ Dennis F. Kinlaw

Waiting...

Sometimes it seems as though we spend our lives waiting. Daydreaming about an upcoming vacation, worrying over a medical test, preparing for the birth of grandchild-our days are filled with anticipation and anxiety over what the future holds. As Christians, we too spend our lives waiting. But we are waiting for something much bigger than a trip, bigger even than retirement or a wedding: We are waiting for the return of Jesus in glory. Advent heightens this sense of waiting, because it marks not only our anticipation of Jesus' final coming, but also our remembrance of his arrival into our world more than 2,000 years ago. ~ Anonymous

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giving Brings Joy

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We’re so absorbed with “getting what’s ours” that we miss what brings the real blessing and joy—giving God what’s His. Giving is doing what we were made for: loving God and our neighbors (Matthew 22:36–40). Giving boldly affirms Christ’s lordship. It is a blessed act that leads to joy. ~ Randy Alcorn (from The Treasure Principle)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Human Limits...

"God can do nothing for me until I recognize the limits of what is humanly possible, allowing Him to do the impossible." ~ Oswald Chambers

Prepare for an Experience

"Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience." ~ Handel Brown

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Not Home Yet

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." ~ C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Strengthen Marriage

‎"In a world that no longer considers the marriage covenant to be sacred, where adultery and divorce are epidemic, we have an obligation to do everything we can to strengthen others’ marriages and to avoid anything that might weaken them." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Singled Out for Him)