Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Find Out...

“This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfection.” ~ Saint Augustine

Christianity Is...

"Christianity is not primarily a moral code but a grace-laden mystery; it is not essentially a philosophy of love but a love affair; it is not keeping rules with clenched fists but receiving a gift with open hands." ~ Brennan Manning

He Can't Be Contained

"This subject is far too vast to be comprehended by the narrow limits of human understanding. We can only say, The great God, the eternal, the Almighty Spirit, is as unbounded in his presence as in his duration and power. In condescension, indeed, to our weak understanding, he is said to dwell in heaven; but, strictly speaking, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him." ~ John Wesley

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More than Self...

"I have come to see clearly that life is more than self. It is more than doing what I want, striving for what will benefit me, dreaming of all I can be. Life is all about my relationship with God. There is no higher calling, no loftier dream, and no greater goal than to live, breathe, and be poured out for Jesus Christ." ~ Brother Andrew

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wise People...

"Have you ever noticed that the wisest people are often the most humble? They have discovered the joy of not having to be right all the time. They are open to other viewpoints because they have learned that teachable people are growing people." ~ David Busic

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiness Is...

"Holiness is the everyday business of every Christian. It evidences itself in the decisions we make and the things we do, hour by hour, day by day." ~ Chuck Colson

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Live As Jesus Would Live

"The religion of Jesus Christ is the principles of God the Father. If you claim it you ought to live as you think he would if he were in your place." ~ Uncle Bud Robinson

Friday, December 26, 2014

Holiness Is...

Too often, “holiness” is equated with stale antiquated legalism rather than thirsting for that which only the Holy Spirit can quench. (M. E. Anderson)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Is...

"Christmas is not a myth, not a tradition, not a dream. It is a glorious reality. It is a time of joy. Bethlehem’s manger crib became the link that bound a lost world to a loving God. From that manger came a Man who not only taught us a new way of life, but brought us into a new relationship with our Creator. Christmas means that God is interested in the affairs of people, that God loves us so much that He was willing to give His Son." ~ Billy Graham

Not Just Passing Through

"Jesus became involved in the world to which he came. He was not a tourist just passing through or simply looking things over. Jesus rolled up his sleeves and got involved." ~ J. K. Warrick

Who or What Do You Worship?

"You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship." ~ N. T. Wright

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Givers or Receivers?

"The Christmas story is not about how blessed it is to be givers but about how essential it is to see ourselves as receivers. We prefer to think of ourselves as givers—powerful, competent, self-sufficient, capable people whose goodness motivates us to employ some of our power, competence and gifts to benefit the less fortunate. Which is a direct contradiction of the biblical account of the first Christmas. There we are portrayed not as the givers we wish we were but as the receivers we are." ~ William Willimon

God Revealed Through Jesus

"The God who in and through Jesus reveals himself is human. And the human being who emerges in and through Jesus is divine. This is the specific characteristic of the Christian experience of God and human beings…. It was in a man that the primitive church discovered God; and it was in God that we came to know the true nature and destiny of human beings." ~ Leonardo Boff

Do You Want to Learn About Yourself?

"If you want to learn something about yourself, pay attention to the criticisms that affect you most deeply, and make an effort to start praying through those insecurities and fears." ~ Evans

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bring Heart, Soul & Life

"The Magi brought gifts of myrrh, gold and frankincense.  It is ours to bring heart and soul and life, to lay our very being at His feet. This is to us the richness of the Christmas time, that He is given forever to us, and we are given forever to Him." ~ Phineas F. Bresee

Monday, December 22, 2014

Welcoming Christ

"A custom existed among the first generations of Christians, when faith was a bright fire that warmed more than those who kept it burning. In every house then a room was kept ready for any stranger who might ask for shelter; it was even called “the stranger’s room.” Not because these people thought they could trace something of someone they loved in the stranger who used it, not because the man or woman to whom they gave shelter reminded them of Christ, but because—plain and simple and stupendous fact—he or she was Christ." ~ Dorothy Day

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ ~ Matthew 25:45 (NIV)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ugly Disease

"The Bible teaches that the human race is morally sick. This disease has affected every phase of our life in society. The Bible calls this disease by an ugly, three-letter word: sin. The Bible teaches that the only cure for sin is the blood that Christ shed on the cross. ... The cross and the resurrection stand today as man's only hope." ~ Billy Graham

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Put Your Trust and Faith in God Alone

"But this self-confident generation has produced more alcoholics, more dope addicts, more criminals, more wars, more broken homes, more assaults, more embezzlements, more murders, and more suicides than any other generation that ever lived. It is time for all of us to take stock of our failures, blunders, and costly mistakes. It is about time that we are putting less confidence in ourselves and more trust and faith in God." ~ Billy Graham

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christian's Responsibility

"Our responsibility is to give the world the right impression of God.” ~ John Wesley

Christmas Means...

“Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.” ~ George McDougall

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recognize the Possibilities

"You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope." ~ Thomas Merton

To be Trusted

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved." 
~ George MacDonald

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do You Recognize Him?

"The incarnation is the irruption of God into human history: an incarnation into littleness and service in the midst of overbearing power exercised by the mighty of this world; an irruption that smells of the stable. The Son of God was born into a little people, a nation of little importance by comparison with the powers of the time. He took flesh among the poor in a marginal area—namely, Galilee; he lived with the poor and emerged from among them to inaugurate a kingdom of love and justice. That is why many have trouble recognizing him." ~ Gustavo Gutierrez 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Said the Robin to the Sparrow...

“Said the robin to the sparrow,
‘I should really like to know,
why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so.’
Said the sparrow to the robin,
‘Friend I think it must be
That that have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.’”
~Author Unknown

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pride Versus Humility

“The difference between pride and humility is this: Pride is the manifestation of a slave that is perpetually trying to prove that he has value. Humility is the manifestation of king that already knows he has value and has nothing to prove." ~ Justin Stumvoll 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Richness of Christmas Time

“The Magi brought gifts of myrrh, gold, and frankincense. It is ours to bring heart and soul and life, to lay our very being at His feet. This is to us the richness of the Christmas time, that He is given forever to us, and we are given forever to Him.”

 Phineas F. Bresee

What Do You Want to be Saved From?

“Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.” ~ Francis Chan

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Where Is Your Treasure?

"We have lost all our possessions, but we still have our faith in Jesus." ~ an Iraqi Christian

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. ~ Matthew 6:18-20 (NIV)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Are You Living at Large (part 3)

Where are the "at large" places in our lives?  Where, in our thought life, our actions, our relationships, even our ministries, are we living outside of Him?  They're there, no matter how hard we try to ignore them.  Will we keep coming up to the truth, or will we, at last, really enter into it?  To live at large from Him is to be a Kingdom fugitive.  It's a life on the run, from Him.  Let's stop running from Him, and run to Him.  Let's go  "off line."  Living at large no longer.

Are You Living at Large (part 2)

"Jesus said that the Holy Spirit leads "into all truth."  Not up to truth, but into it.  How many of us have heard His voice speaking into such areas of life need, felt the conviction that His voice brings, resolved that we were going to act upon it, enter into it, yet in the end, remained in the exact same spiritual place?  We come up to the truth, but we don't enter into it.  We have good intentions, awareness of the need, even of what He desires for us, yet, a little time passes and there we are, still wrestling with the same problem, the same lack, the same sin.  We go on living at large, outside of, His will, His way, and His life.  We've gotten very comfortable there, and if we can deal with the occasional tweak of our conscience, we can eventually come to the place where we don't hear His voice, His truth at all.  We become hardened to it.  Small wonder then that so many of us can return to church services week after week, "hear" the same word preached and taught week after week, and yet continue to live at large from Him.  Just like the world."  ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Are You Living At Large?

"I was struck by Jesus' words in John 14:18, "He is the Holy Spirit Who leads into all truth.  The world at large cannot receive Him, because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him."  We who consider ourselves "believers" would understand those "at large" to be ones who are without Him, unbelievers.  Rarely, if ever, would we see ourselves as such.  Yet in reality, in how many life areas, are we living "at large" from His Life, His Spirit, His Way?" ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don't Worry...

"Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate

on being faithful to the truth." ~ Dorothy Day

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christians Love

"The more I listen to people around me talk about their experience with Jesus Christ and with religion, the more I realize as well that what drives people away from Christ is the Christian who does not know how to love. A string of cruel words from a Christian can destroy another Christian." ~ Anne Rice

Monday, December 8, 2014

Refresh Us

"We don’t have to convince an unwilling God to come and refresh us with His presence. He’s for it. But, He cannot be manipulated. But when sincere hearts who know they cannot do His work nor His will without Him, humbly pray, He will answer." - J. Edwin Orr


"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December." ~ James M. Barrie

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Don't Hold Back

"Today, this week, as we come before Him, what do you want, expect to hear?  Good words?  A "nice" sermon?  Something that may strike a note, but transform nothing, or, do you, I, come yearning for the voice of fire?  A voice that will release the symphony of His Life to and into us?  Haven't we held back long enough?" ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Has HE Taken Hold of You?

"We need today to hear and heed His voice of fire, and we need it at every level in the church.  We know well how to come together to plan, to talk, to come up with new methods and means, and to discuss the needs of the culture and how to meet them, but it's not more analysis that we need, it is the hearing and receiving of His voice of fire.  A voice that doesn't just resonate in our spirits, but literally takes hold of us in the center of our being.  As long as we seek to keep our distance from Him, fearing the fire, we will never have the life, individually or corporately that only the voice of fire can bring." ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Friday, December 5, 2014

Intimacy with HIM

"Deuteronomy 5 relates how the Lord called Moses to Himself and spoke to him while the people lingered at a distance.  Twice we're told that the Father spoke with "a voice of fire," for His Presence was literally blazing before them all.  The people feared that voice and held back, while Moses alone came into His presence, into the power of His voice of fire.  Today, maybe more than ever before, we in the western church need to hear, receive, and be transformed by His voice of fire.  We've kept our distance long enough.  Like the people did with Moses, we've been satisfied to allow others, pastors, teachers, those who speak with prophetic voices, be the ones who hear what God has said and is saying now, and then bring to us His words.  Few of us truly know what it is to hear Him speak d, irectly to us.  We've never developed such an intimacy with Him in our "devotional time," and so it's no surprise that when we come together in worship, we hear so little.  Our emotions may be moved, but too often, our hearts never are.  Our spiritual senses are dulled, and so, as Jesus said, "we hear, but don't hear."  We hear the words that the Father, that Jesus, that the Holy Spirit is saying, but we have little or no understanding of what He means in those words.  They touch our ears, but not our hearts, and so, we remain unchanged." ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Are You Being Transformed?

Not long ago, I wrote down this question in my prayer journal; "When we leave our 'worship services,' do we go talking about what a 'good sermon' we've just heard, or do we leave having truly heard and received His Word, His Voice?  Has His Truth really penetrated our being, and in so doing, transformed us?"  I think too often, we leave agreeing that we've heard a good word, but have been totally unaffected by it.  ~ Pastor Gary O'Shell

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Waiting Person

"A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us." ~ Henri Nouwen 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Difficult Place

“The next time you find yourself in a difficult place—searching for comfort and wondering where God is—look around you and find His warm embrace in the Body of Christ.” ~ Busic

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spiritual Food

‎"Just as we need daily food and water to survive physically, we need to consume the Word of God. to survive spiritually. There are limits to how much food we can or should eat. But, we can never ingest to much truth. God doesn't want us to merely survive. he wants us to be filled to overflowing so that we can not even begin to hold in the love, joy, and hope only His truth can give- so full we must sing His praises to the heavens." ~ Dana Demetre (40 Days to Healthy Living)

Christmas Gift Suggestions

"To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”

~ Oren Arnold


"There’s so much pretending out there. We have to pretend that we’re not smarter than our boss. We have to pretend we love our partner more than we do. We have to pretend that everything is fine. There’s just so much pretend in our lives we have to muster up, I think the Church needs to be a place where that doesn’t have to happen. Just for one hour during the week, they can exhale and the truth about everything can be spoken in a sacred space." ~ Nadia Bolz-Webe

Monday, December 1, 2014

Don't Miss Christ

"It’s easy for us in church, in life with its busyness, its constant activity and noise in this Christmas season with all its craziness; it’s easy for us to miss Christ if you don’t go in the Spirit to whatever you’re doing that day, wherever you’re going." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss