Sunday, June 06, 2010

Make our hearts as the heart of a little child

We bless you, O most holy God, for the unfathomable love whereby you have ordained that spirit with spirit can meet and that we, weak and erring mortals, should have this ready access to the heart of Him who moves the stars.

With bitterness and true compunction of heart we acknowledge before you the gross and selfish thoughts that we so often allow to enter our minds and to influence our deeds.

We confess, O God –

That often we let our minds wander down unclean and forbidden ways;
That often we deceive ourselves as to where our plain duty lies;
That often, by concealing our real motives, we pretend to be better than we are;
That often our honesty is only a matter of policy;
That often our affection for our friends is only a refined form of caring for ourselves;
That often our sparing of our enemies is due to nothing more than cowardice;
That often we do good deeds only that they may be seen of men, and shun evil ones only because we fear they may be found out.

O holy One, let the fire of your love enter our hearts, and burn up all this coil of meanness and hypocrisy, and make our hearts as the heart of a little child.

John Baillie

Friday, May 28, 2010

TRUST in the life of David

“When I am most afraid, I put my trust in you, in God whose word I praise, in God I put my trust, fearing nothing; what can men do to me?” - Psalm 56:3-4

“My trust in God never wavers” - Psalm 26:1

“He rescued me, since he loves me” - Psalm 18:19

“But I for my part rely on your love, O Lord” - Psalm 13:5

“Put your trust in Yahweh, be strong, let your heart be bold, put your trust in Yahweh” - Psalm 27:14

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust” - Psalm 40:4

“I mean to thank you constantly for doing what you did, and put my trust in your name, that is so full of kindness, in the presence of those who love you” - Psalm 52:9

“I, for my part, like an olive tree growing in the house of God, put my trust in God’s love for ever and ever” - Psalm 52:8

Prayer of Trust

“Abba, into your hands I entrust my body, mind, and spirit and this entire day – morning, afternoon, evening, and night. Whatever you want of me, I want of me, falling into you and trusting in you in the midst of my life. Into your heart I trust my heart, feeble, distracted, insecure, uncertain. Abba, unto you I abandon myself in Jesus our Lord. Amen.” - Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning, pgs. 11-12

Friday, May 07, 2010

Every year you grow you'll find Me BIGGER

From Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis,

“Welcome, child,” he {Aslan} said
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “You’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

If He's not bigger, you're not growing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Greatest Saints

“The greatest saints are not those who need less grace but those who consume the most grace, who indeed are most in need of grace – those who are saturated by grace in every dimension of their being. Grace to them is like breath.” - Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, pg. 94

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yeah HE will!

“The truth is that the Spirit of the living God is guaranteed to ask you to go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally want or choose to do. The Spirit will lead you into the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be. The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be…” - Francis Chan

Friday, March 26, 2010

Life is 10% of what happens to me

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” - Chuck Swindoll

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"I cannot keep silent..." - St. Patrick

"Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My idea of God gets shattered..and it's a good thing

"My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of his presence? The incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not." - C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Monday, March 15, 2010

Invention isn't a part of my calling

"I am content to live and die as the mere repeater of scriptural teaching, as a person who has thought out nothing and invented nothing, as one who never thought invention to be any part of his calling, but who concluded that he was simply to be a mouth for God to the people, mourning that anything of his own should come between." - Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Calm Delight

"When you have been busy all day long, and are not able to shake off the cares of business, you get warmed up by getting near to each other in your prayers. And, more than that, the united fires being placed together on the hearth, the fire-brands are made to burn with greater power. There is a kind of divine excitement that comes upon us sometimes at the prayer-meeting. I remember in one of our prayer-meetings where we fasted and prayed and an intense excitement was there, not fleshly, but deeply spiritual. How we felt ourselves bowed down at one time, and then lifted up again at another. I have sometimes sat side by side with a brother who has said, 'Can you bear this much longer? I feel it is too much for my physical frame.' Oh! the calm delight which springs from close communion with the invisible God!" - Charles Spurgeon

Monday, February 22, 2010

I asked the King

"I asked the King to remove a great burden from me. I couldn’t understand why He didn’t answer. He then showed me that what I asked Him to take away was exactly what He’d given me to make me more like Him." - Randy Alcorn, Edge of Eternity

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Radical Confidence in God

"Christian discipline means…a progressive weakening of man’s instinctive self-confidence, and of the self-despair to which this leads, and the growth of radical confidence in God."

(C.K. Barrett in David Prior, The Suffering and the Glory, 31)

Friday, February 19, 2010

10 ?'s for Lent

1. Do You Thirst for God?
2. Are You Governed Increasingly by God's Word?
3. Are You More Loving?
4. Are You More Sensitive to God's Presence?
5. Do You Have a Growing Concern for the Spiritual and Temporal Needs of Others?
6. Do You Delight in the Bride of Christ?
7. Are the Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life Increasingly Important to You?
8. Do You Still Grieve Over Sin?
9. Are You a Quicker Forgiver?
10. Do You Yearn for Heaven and to Be With Jesus?

These questions come out of a book written by Donald Whitney. I am taking 4 days per question.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One remedy for a thousand evils

Beloved, let every church learn the value of its prayer-meetings ... When the pastor is gone, and when it has been difficult to find a suitable successor; when, it may be, there are splits and divisions; when death falls upon honored members, when poverty comes in, when there is a spiritual famine, and when the Holy Spirit appears to have withdrawn himself — then there is but one remedy for these and a thousand other evils, and that one remedy is contained in this short sentence, "Let us pray." - Charles Spurgeon

Monday, February 15, 2010

To love is to be vulnerable

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable." - C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Saturday, February 13, 2010

God's love conquers the world

"The love for equals is a human thing - of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.

The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing - the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.

The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing - to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints.

And then there is the love for the enemy - love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world."

— Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat

Wednesday, February 10, 2010



“We need testing. God tests us. The test results will show whether we are choosing the way of awe and worship and obedience (which is to say, God), or whether, without being aware of it, we are reducing God to our understanding of him so that we can use him. Have we slipped into the habit of insisting that God do what we ask or want or need him to do, treating him as an idol designed for our satisfaction? Does God serve us or do we serve God? Do we require a God we can fully understand and control or are we willing to be obedient to what we do not understand and could never control? Is God a mystery of goodness whom we embrace and trust, or is God a formula for getting the most out of life on our terms? The test results will show whether we have been blithely assuming that God is pledged to give us whatever we want whenever we ask. Have we thought all along that God is there to serve us? The test will tell us. Do we want God in our own image or do we want a God who is beyond us and over us, who we trust will do for us what only God can do in the way that only God can do it--no strings attached… no reservations…no caveats… the whole hog? The test will tell us.” - Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way

Monday, February 08, 2010

Our Father is younger than we

"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again;' and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we." - GK Chesterton

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Unrelenting Love of God in the life of C.S. Lewis

"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape?" C.S. Lewis

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What you should preach always and evermore

"Of all I wish to say this is the sum; my brethren, preach Christ, always and evermore. He is the whole gospel. His person, offices, and work must be our one great, all-comprehending theme. The world needs still to be told of its Saviour, and of the way to reach him. Justification by faith should be far more than it is the daily testimony of Protestant pulpits; and if with this master-truth there should be more generally associated the other great doctrines of grace, the better for our churches and our age."

From Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students (Chapter 5: “Sermons — Their Matter”).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reducing God to a Vending Machine

"I’m coming to realize that life is art. There are no formulas, no dot-to-dot paintings that we can follow to guarantee a beautiful life. No heresy has been more sin inspired than belief in formulas: do this and God will bless, in this way. Formulas put us in control and reduce God to a vending machine. Everything that’s wrong with me loves that idea." - Larry Crabb, Real Church, p. 103

My friend Charlie and I are reading through this book together right now. I am so thankful that he (and Larry) are in my life to challenge me as a follower of Jesus and as a leader in the church to view life, especially my relationship with Jesus Christ, as art.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Be Yourself

Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now.

We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!

- Henri Nouwen

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do all the good you can in 2010

"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley words are very thought provoking for me as I look into the remaining days that 2010 will bring.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The way we make all progress in the kingdom

We never "get beyond the gospel" in our Christian life to something more "advanced." The gospel is not the first "step" in a "stairway" of truths, rather, it is more like the "hub" in a "wheel" of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C's but the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make all progress in the kingdom.

- Tim Keller, The Centrality of the Gospel

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Family Verses For 2010

Psalm 33:20-22

" 20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you."

Julie and I are so excited to take the truth from these verses and weave them into the life of our family in 2010.